L' Occitane & TerraCycle Recycle Your Cosmetic Packaging For You So You Don't Have To

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By: Casha Doemland

You work hard, and to treat yourself, you purchase face masks and creams like it's your part-time job. While that's all good and great, have you ever thought about the packaging of these products and how there are currently 6.3 billion metric tons of plastic waste chilling in a landfill for the next 400 years? What about the fact that 45% of that waste is from product packaging? If the plastic doesn't end up in a landfill, it's littered throughout oceans, causing harm to marine life.

Earlier this month, TerraCycle teamed up with L' Occitane en Provence, a luxury personal care brand, to create a free and easy way for consumers to recycle their packagings. All you have to do is drop off the empties, whether it's a moisturizing cream, lipstick tubes or shampoo bottles, at one of the participating L'Occitane stores and you'll receive a 10% discount towards one product the very same day.

TerraCycle, an innovative recycling company, is all about recycling the "non-recyclable, which is perfect for the cosmetic world given the various types of containers and compositions.

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There are currently 75 participating L’ Occitane stores in the US and 13 in Canada, with more likely joining by the end of the year.

According to TerraCycle, "once collected, the beauty and skin care items are sorted and separated by material composition. The separated items are then cleaned, shredded, and made into new recycled products."

This isn't the first time TerraCycle has teamed up with a personal care company, in fact, last year they joined forces with Garnier and L'Oreal Australia.

With Garnier, they created the Personal Care and Beauty Recycling Program, another free program that accepts shampoos, conditioner and hairspray bottles. Simply remove all the excess product from the container, join the TerraCycle Recycling Program and obtain your free, pre-paid shipping label. In exchange for your services, you'll get a free gift. Together, they recycled over 10 million packages and raised almost $200,000  for non-profits that help the environment.  

For each item you send back to TerraCycle, the company donates 2 cents and rewards you with points. Redeem your points at any time, and they can be used for a charitable donation to a non-profit organization, or for a free product.

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As for L'Oreal Australia, do what Garnier does above, and request a free shipping label. L'Oreal accepts cosmetics, hair and skin care packaging of any brand and then melts and molds the containers into new recycled products. So far, there have been over 240,000 pieces of waste recycled and $4,000 raised.

TerraCycle continues to be an avid voice for eliminating waste and has recycled over 4 billion hard-to-recycle plastics and raised approximated $21 million for charity to date.


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Casha Doemland

LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.